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Campus Now

Early Spring Issue (Apr. 2014)


Waseda’s support for reconstruction

—3 years after the Great East Japan Earthquake—

3 years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011. Reconstruction is still lagging behind schedule.
From immediately after the earthquake, Waseda University has considered what can and must be done for regional reconstruction and a brighter future. Waseda has conducted a variety of support activities both inside and outside our school.
In this article, we will review past activities, discuss recovery from an academic perspective, and convey our university’s position towards disaster.


Expanding support which connects people

This article introduces some of Waseda’s support for reconstruction.

Miyako City
Exchange through music in Miyako City

(※Please visit the link below for more information.)

Morioka City
“Research Institute Forum 2013 held in Morioka” on November 1, 2013

Under the theme of “Linking the Ocean, Land and Mountains—Constructing continuity and broad cooperation in disaster reconstruction,” reports were given on research results related to reconstruction. Professor Takeshi Nakagawa (Faculty of Science and Engineering) introduced design proposals which were devised by students based on onsite surveys. A panel discussion featured participation by officials from the disaster area, including Yukata Ikarigawa (Mayor of Otsuchi Town, Iwate Prefecture), Associate Professor Satoshi Miyake (Iwate University) and Satoru Sakaki (Assistant Manager, News Department, Iwate Nippo). Panelists engaged in a lively debate on issues related to reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Tanohata Village / Iwaizumi Town
Official WAVOC Project
Afforestation activities by Shii-no-Mori-no-Kai

WAVOC volunteers arrived at the disaster site in April 2011 and immediately began support activities from 22. Volunteers cleaned fishing tools and fishing boats which had been washed ashore by the tsunami and photographs, and organized/sorted relief supplies. In addition to the afforestation workshop which is held 3 times every year, the Shii-no-Mori-no-Kai cooperates in the Tanohata Village Reconstruction Prayer Festival that has been held every autumn since the Great East Japan Earthquake. Also, at the Waseda University Tomon Festival, the association sells seaweed produced in Tanohata Village.

Kamaishi City / Otsuchi Town
Official WAVOC Project
RINC (Riral India & Nippon’s Commitment) activities for regional reconstruction and invigoration

Since September 2011, WAVOC volunteers have traveled to Hakozaki Town, Kamaishi City several times to visit homes, hold events, create a sightseeing map for appealing sites in the town, and create opportunities for cooperation among volunteers. At Waseda Festival 2013, volunteers gave a report and held a panel session on RINC activities, and sold crafts made by women in Hakozaki Town.

Rikuzentakata City
Removing mud from city gutters, etc. (from August 2011)

(※Click here for more information.)

Ishinomaki City
Requiem held by Glee Club

On September 4, 2011, the Waseda University Glee Club held a requiem concert at a hotel in Ishinomaki City, which finally resumed business from the end of August. The requiem was attended by numerous alumni, former university president and Glee Club alumni Katsuhiko Shirai, and more than 400 citizens. The male chorus sung powerful renditions of the Waseda University school song, Azure Sky, and the local folk song Saitara-Bushi.

Kesennuma City
Kesennuma Team
Social interaction at temporary housing, study support, support for restart of tourism, etc.

The Kesennuma Team started in April 2012 when student volunteers helped remove rubble. Since then, volunteer activities in a wide range of fields have been performed based on the needs of local citizens. Examples include social interaction such as tea ceremony and calisthenics at temporary housing, study support at Kesennuma High School and support for restarting tourism.
(※Click here for more information.)

Natori City
Holding events such as Natori Lantern Floating Ceremony

A total of 177 student (including many foreign students), faculty and staff volunteers helped with the preparation and operation of the “Natori Lantern Floating Ceremony” held in August 2011, the “3.11 Yuriage Gathering” held in March 2012, and the “Natori 3.11 Mourning Ceremony” held in March 2013. Volunteers also held baseball camps in the Natori area and provided study support at Yuriage Junior High School

A baseball camp was held for 7 players from Futaba High School and Soma Agricultual High School on a field in Iwaki City (January 2014)

Fukushima Prefecture
Baseball camps, etc.

Beginning from December 2012, the Waseda University Baseball Club has held baseball camps at high schools in Soma City, Minamisoma City, Koriyama City and Iwaki City. Support activities have also been held by the Wrestling Team, Softball Team, Rugby Football Club and Glee Club.

Fukushima Prefecture
Official WAVOC ※Project
Study support through CAP (Community AIDS Project)

Continued study support has been held for 2nd and 3rd-year students at Futaba High School in August/December 2011, February/August 2012 and August 2013. Also, when not studying, tutors and students deepened their friendship while enjoying sports and events such as firework festivals.

※WAVOC: Abbreviation for the Waseda University Hirayama Ikuo Volunteer Center

University Support Activities ※Introduction of selected activities
Mar. 11
Great East Japan Earthquake hits Japan. Waseda establishes a disaster response headquarters and opens Okuma Auditorium to Tokyo metropolitan residents who are unable to return home.
Mar. 12
Establishes procedures and economic aid for students who were affected by the disaster and plan to enter Waseda University in 2011.
Mar. 14
Establishes a system for waiving tuition fees and providing scholarships to students affected by the disaster.
Mar. 23
Starts donation/aid projects with Alumni Association.
Apr. 4
In the Opinion Corner of Waseda Online, begins transmitting the analysis/recommendations of faculty as part of the “Great East Japan Earthquake Series.”
Apr. 8
Establishes the “Office for Aiding Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake” (Director: President Kamata).
Apr. 11
The Faculty of Letters, Arts and Sciences holds “Requiem: A Small Step Forward,” an event to mourn victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Apr. 11-12
WAVOC deploys an advance team of 28 earthquake volunteers to Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture (as of January 31, 2014, a total of 4,404 volunteers have been deployed in 302 projects).
※For information on overall WAVOC activities, please see the following page or visit the website(www.waseda.jp/wavoc/eng/
May. 10
Establishes the Institute for Research on Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake (selection of 3 projects and 7 themes). (※Click for further information.)
May. 11
The Faculty of Science and Engineering provides laboratory equipment to educational and research institutions in the disaster area.
May. 16
Establishes the “Scholarship for Students Affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake”
June. 14
The Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum establishes the Global COE Program Forum “The Great Earthquake and Art Culture—Witness from the Disaster Zone.”
July. 2-3
President Kamata visits Miyako City and Aizuwakamatsu City to participate in reconstruction work.
Aug. 10
Waseda Business School holds the charity course “Learning is Strength for Recovery.”
Oct. 7
The Institute for Research on Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake holds an open symposium entitled “Reconstruction Research at Waseda University.”
Oct. 8
The Organization for Asian Studies holds 9th International Symposium “Japan and Asia in the Post-3.11 Era: What we have learned after the earthquake.”
Nov. 28
Publishes the Waseda University Booklet “Thinking Post-Quake.” (※Click for further information.)
Dec. 3
Holds a charity event “1st Waseda Ekiden at the National Stadium.”
Dec. 11
The Institute for Research on Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake sponsors the symposium/special lecture “Caring for the Emotions of Japanese People after the Great East Japan Earthquake.”
Dec. 17
The Institute for Advanced Studies in Education holds lecture on frontline education “Great East Japan Earthquake and Education—Learning and Passing on to the Future.”
Feb. 10
GITI symposium “Future Smart Society and Advanced Scientific Technology—Overcoming 3.11.”
Mar. 8
Research symposium on reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake “One Year after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Fukushima Nuclear Accident.”
Apr. 3
The Open Education Center commences “Great East Japan Earthquake Reconstruction Support Subjects.”
Apr. 23
The Institute for Research on Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake holds an open workshop “New reconstruction themes which have risen during one year of surveys and research.”
May. 25
Publishes a special feature “Waseda Industry-Academia Partnership Review 2012, Waseda University Science and Engineering considers disaster-preparedness and recovery—What can universities do for them?” (Asahi Shimbun Publications)
June. 5
The Environmental Research Institute opens a course “Cultivating Reconstruction Personnel.”
Oct. 6
Holds Great East Japan Earthquake reconstruction symposium “Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake and Issues for Urban Safety and Security with Natural and Cultural Heritage.”
Dec. 21
Donates series of 26 existing issues of the Waseda University Booklet “Thinking Post-Quake” to 584 high schools in 5 prefectures affected by the earthquake.
Mar. 8
The Faculty of Human Sciences holds the 2nd symposium “Great East Japan Earthquake and Human Sciences.”
Mar. 26
Holds Japan-UK seminar “Planning Responses to ‘Shock’ and ‘Slow-Burn’ Events.”
Sept. 4
MEXT adopts the project “Establishing a base for disaster research to internationally expand disaster mitigation research” and Waseda forms an international research base for conducting research on compound disasters resulting from tsunami, storm surges, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.
Nov. 1
Holds the Research Institute Forum 2013 in Morioka.
Dec. 20
The Institute for Research on Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake holds an open symposium “Moving Toward a Future after Reconstruction.”